Friday, July 13, 2007

Where Were You When.....

...the lights went out. Unfortunately, there are three answers to that question. Today I'm going to discuss the NYC blackout on July 13-14, 1977.

I was bowling in the basement of our local school. We couldn't see anything, so one of the men in our group used the headlights of his car to help us exit the building. There wasn't much traffic, probably because the Mets were playing at home and Jerry Koosman was on his way to making a strikeout record. He had struck out 11 Chicago Cubs through six innings giving him a chance at the then nine-inning record of 19. It was not to be.

When I got home, my 2 1/2 year old was crying because when he woke up, he couldn't see his hand in front of his face. I had to shine a flashlight to prove to him that he was OK, we just lost all our lights in the house and in the street.

Unfortunately, in certain sections of the city, the residents saw this as an opportunity to replace TV's, take new sneakers, or even get a new car. The police were powerless to stop the looters. Even the fire department, responding to false alarms, were pelted with rocks. Three police precincts were under siege by people who wanted to divert attention from the looting.

That year, 1977, was a trying one for the City, but survive we did. New York came back, some think better than ever.

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